DEBATE: Gladstone Harbour is the lifeblood of the district and centre of environmental controversy.
DEBATE: Gladstone Harbour is the lifeblood of the district and centre of environmental controversy. Brenda Strong GLAPLAN

Harbour input a token gesture, indigenous corporation says

THE State Government is calling on the local indigenous community to have a say on the health of Gladstone Harbour, but a representative described it as a token gesture.

"Sometimes we're supposed to be the bearer of knowledge for country, and as much as we would like to accept that accolade, it's impossible to maintain when you're not in control of the country," Gladstone Goorie Centre Indigenous Corporation chairman Cedric Williams said.

The Gladstone Healthy Harbour Partnership, announced in May 2012, involves the three levels of government, plus community and industry and aims to manage the harbour's health.

Local councillor and Gladstone Region Environmental Advisory Network (GREAN) chairman Col Chapman said community needs to be involved.

"If people aren't involved in the formative and consultive stages, they can't then complain when a report comes out," he said.

Cr Chapman said the indigenous community represented the culture aspect of the partnership as well as the history of the harbour.

But Mr Williams said there's no silver bullet for the harbour's health while big business is at play.

"I don't believe there is anything they can do, or would do, to seriously allow us to help them with the harbour, without comprising their needs for industry."

The meeting will be held on September 9, 10.30-3.30pm at the Leo Zussino Building. RSVP by September 4 on 3330 5346.

MORE ON GLADSTONE HARBOUR HERE

Cedric Williams.
Cedric Williams. Christopher Chan GLA280812BUSI